Thursday, 19 November 2015

Violence in the workplace for ambulance personnel

Roger Watson, Editor

Workplace violence (WPV) for healthcare workers is common and ambulance personnel are, literally, at the 'front line' for this kind of abuse. A study from The Netherlands by van der Gelden et al. (2105) and published in Nursing Open titled: 'Predictors of workplace violence among ambulance personnel: a longitudinal study' aimed to: 'examine predictors of repeated confrontations with workplace violence among ambulance personnel, the proportion of exposure to potentially traumatic events that are aggression-related and to what extent personnel was able to prevent escalations.'  The study took place over 6 months with over 100 ambulance personnel.

One of the predictors of events in this study was internal conflict among staff, specifically conflict with superior staff whereby the junior member of staff could not compromise and de-escalate the confrontational situation.  As the authors say: 'our findings suggest that measures (training, procedures, rules) to prevent repeated verbal aggression and being on guard, should especially target
facilitating or improving the ability to compromise very easily and diminishing or solve problems with superiors' and 'ambulance personnel should not only be viewed as ‘victims’ but also should receive recognition for their apparently successful interventions to prevent escalations during WPV.'


van der Velden PG, Bosmans MWG, van der Meulen E (2015) Predictors of workplace violence among ambulance personnel: a longitudinal study Nursing Open doi: 10.1002/nop2.38

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